2020 Lexus ES Series vs. 2020 BMW 530e

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/06/03

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Lexus ES Series have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The BMW 530e doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Lexus ES Series are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The BMW 530e doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

Both the ES Series and the 530e have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, post-collision automatic braking systems, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors, available blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, its standard vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its standard headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the ES Series its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2020, a rating granted to only 30 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The 530e has not been fully tested, yet.

Warranty

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Lexus’ powertrain warranty covers the ES Series 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than BMW covers the 530e. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the 530e ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are better in initial quality than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 12 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 20th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus first in reliability, above the industry average. With 16 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 7th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than BMW vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Lexus first in reliability. BMW is ranked 17th.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the ES 300h gets better fuel mileage than the 530e running its gasoline engine:

MPG

ES Series

FWD

2.5 4-cyl. Hybrid

43 city/44 hwy

530e

FWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl. Hybrid

25 city/31 hwy

AWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl. Hybrid

23 city/29 hwy

The ES 300h’s standard fuel tank has 1.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the 530e (13.2 vs. 12.1 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The ES 350’s standard fuel tank has 3.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the 530e (15.9 vs. 12.1 gallons).

Transmission

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The ES 300h has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The 530e doesn’t offer a CVT.

Tires and Wheels

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The ES Series’ optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the 530e’s 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the ES Series offers optional 19-inch wheels. The 530e’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

The ES Series has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the 530e; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

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For better maneuverability, the ES Series’ turning circle is 1.5 feet tighter than the 530e’s (38 feet vs. 39.5 feet). The ES Series w/18-19” wheels’ turning circle is 1.3 feet tighter than the 530e xDrive’s (38.8 feet vs. 40.1 feet).

Chassis

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The Lexus ES Series may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 600 to 700 pounds less than the BMW 530e.

The ES Series F Sport uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The 530e doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

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The ES Series has 1 inch more front legroom, .3 inches more rear headroom and 2.7 inches more rear legroom than the 530e.

Cargo Capacity

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The ES Series has a much larger trunk than the 530e (16.7 vs. 14.5 cubic feet).

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Lexus service is better than BMW. J.D. Power ranks Lexus second in service department satisfaction. With a 34% lower rating, BMW is ranked 11th.

Ergonomics

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To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the ES Series has standard extendable sun visors. The 530e doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Economic Advantages

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The ES Series will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the ES Series will retain 48.23% to 49.19% of its original price after five years, while the 530e only retains 34.72% to 35.21%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Lexus ES Series will be $18070 to $19562 less than for the BMW 530e.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/06/03

Consumer Reports® recommends the Lexus ES Series, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Lexus ES Series outsold the BMW 5 Series by 33% during 2019.

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